Meyer's NT Commentary
Acts 19:1-2. εὑρών] A B א, min. Copt. Vulg. Fulg. have εὑρεῖν, and then τε (or δέ) after εἶπε. So Lachm. Tisch. But how easily might εὑρών, after ἐλθεῖν, be changed by transcribers into εὑρεῖν!
εἶπον, Acts 19:2, and πρὸς αὐτούς, Acts 19:3 (both deleted, after important witnesses, by Lachm. Tisch. Born.), have the character of an addition for the sake of completion.
Acts 19:4. μέν] is wanting in A B D א, min. Vulg. Deleted by Lachm. and Born. The want of a corresponding δέ occasioned the omission.
Before Ἰησοῦν Elz. Scholz read Χριστόν, which is deleted according to preponderating testimony. A usual addition, which was here particularly suggested by εἰς τ. ἐρχ.
Acts 19:7. δεχαδύο] Lachm. Born. read δώδεκα, it is true, according to A B D E א, min., but it is a change to the more usual form.
Acts 19:8. τὰ περί] B D, min. vss. have περί. So Lachm. Tisch. Born. See on Acts 8:12.
Acts 19:9. τινός] is wanting in A B א, min. vss. Lachm. Tisch., but was, as apparently unnecessary, more easily omitted than inserted.
Acts 19:10. After Κυρίου Elz. has, against decisive testimony, Ἰησοῦ, which Griesb. has deleted.
Acts 19:12. ἀποφέρ.] recommended by Griesb., and adopted by Lachm. and Tisch., after A B E א, min. But Elz. Scholz, Born, read ἐπιφέρ. Occasioned by ἐπὶ τ. ἀσθ.
ἐκπορεύεσθαι] Elz. reads ἐξέρχεσθαι ἀπʼ αὐτῶν, against preponderating evidence. The usual word for the going out of demons! and ἀπʼ αὐτ. was added from the preceding.
Acts 19:13. καί] after τινές, is approved by Griesb. and adopted by Lachm. Tisch., according to A B E א, min. Syr.; Elz. Scholz read ἀπό, according to G H, min.; Born, reads ἐκ, after D. Accordingly something, at all events, originally stood after τινές. But had ἀπό or ἐκ stood, no reason can be perceived why they should be meddled with; καί, on the other hand, might be found perplexing, and was sometimes omitted and sometimes exchanged for ἀπό or ἐκ.
ὁρκίζω] So A B D E א, min. Copt. Arm. Cassiod. But Elz. has ὁρκίζμεν. Correction to suit the plurality of persons.
Acts 19:14. τινες υἱοὶ Σκ. Ἰ. ἀρχ. ἑπτά] Lachm. reads τινος Σκ. Ἰ. ἀρχ. ἑπτὰ υἱοί. Both have important evidence, and the latter is explained as a correction and transposition (Tisch. has τινές indeed, but follows the order of Lachm., also attested by א), the transcribers not knowing how to reconcile τινές with ἑπτά.
οἱ] is deleted by Lachm., according to insufficient evidence. Superfluous in itself; and, according to the order of Lachm., it was very easily passed over after υἱοί.
Acts 19:16. ἐφαλλόμ.] A B א*, 104. Lachm. reads ἐφαλόμ. Correctly; the Recepta arises from the inattention of transcribers.
Before κατακύρ. Elz. Scholz have καί, which is deleted according to predominant testimony. An insertion for the sake of connection.
ἀμφοτέρων] Elz. has αὐτῶν, against A B D א, min. Theophyl. 2, and some vss.; ἀμφ., which is recommended by Griesb. and adopted by Lachm. Tisch. Born., was objectionable, as before there was no mention of two.
Acts 19:21. διελθών] Lachm. Born, read διελθών, according to A D E. Resolution of the construction, by which καί became necessary before πορεύεσθαι, which, also, D has (so Born.).
Acts 19:24. παρείχετο] Lachm. reads παπείχε, according to A* D E; yet D places ὅς before, and has previously ἦν after τίς (so Born.). The middle was less familiar to transcribers.
Acts 19:25. Elz. Scholz have ἡμῶν; Lachm. Tisch. Born. read ἡμῖν, according to A B D E א, min. Vulg. Copt. Sahid. Theophyl. 2. The latter is to be received on account of the preponderance of testimony, and because ἡμῶν would more easily suggest itself to unskilful transcribers.
Acts 19:26. ἀλλά] Lachm. Born. read ἀλλὰ καί, after A B G, min. vss. Chrys. Both suitable in meaning; but καί would more easily after οὐ μόνον be mechanically inserted (comp. Acts 19:27) than omitted.
Acts 19:27. λογισθῆναι, μέλλειν] Lachm. Born, read λογισθήσεται, μέλλειν according to weighty evidence; but certainly only an emendation of a construction not understood.
τὴς μεγαλ.] Lachm. reads τη̄ς μεγαλειότητος, A B E א, min. Sahid. Correctly; the genitive not being understood, or not having its meaning attended to, yielded to the more naturally occurring accusative.
Acts 19:29. ὅλη] is wanting in A B א, min. Vulg. Copt. Arm., and is deleted by Lachm. and Tisch. An addition which easily suggested itself.
Acts 19:33. προεβίβασαν] Lachm. reads συνεβίβασαν, according to A B E א, min.; Born. reads κατεβίβ., after D*. In this diversity συνεβίβ. is indeed best attested by Codd., but yet is to be rejected as completely unsuitable. As, further, κατεβίβ. has only D* for it, the reading of the Recepta, which was glossed in a variety of ways, is to be retained.
Acts 19:34. ἐπιγνόντες] Elz. has ἐπιγνόντων, against decisive evidence. A correction in point of style.
Acts 19:35. ἄνθρωπος] Lachm. Tisch. read ἀνθρώπων, according to A B E א, min. vss. The Recepta came in mechanically.
After μεγάλ. Elz. has θεᾶς. Condemned by decisive testimony as an addition.
Acts 19:37. θεόν] Elz. reads θεάν, against decisive testimony.
Instead of ὑμῶν, Griesb. approved, and Lachm. and Born. read, ἡμῶν, according to A D E** א, min. vss. But with the important attestation which ὑμῶν also has, and as the change into ἡμῶν was so naturally suggested by the context, the Recepta, is to be defended.
Acts 19:39. περὶ ἑτέρων] B, min. Cant. have περαιτέρω. Preferred by Rinck, adopted by Lachm. and Tisch.; and correctly, as alterations easily presented themselves for a word not occurring elsewhere in the N.T. (E has περ ἕτερον), and which is hardly to be ascribed to the transcribers.
Acts 19:40. After περὶ οὗ Griesb. and Matth. have adopted οὐ, which, however, has more considerable authorities against it than for it (A G H א). Writing of the οὗ twice.
περί before τῆς συστρ. is found in A B E א, min. vss.; it is, with Lachm., to be adopted, because, being superfluous and cumbrous, it ran the risk of being omitted, but was not appropriate for insertion.
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,Acts 19:1. Ἀπολλώ] Concerning this form of the accusative, see Winer, p. 61 [E. T. 72].
τὰ ἀυωτερικά] the districts lying more inland from Ephesus, as Galatia and Phrygia, xviii. 23. Comp. Kypke, II. 95. The reading of Theophylact, τὰ ἀνατολικά, is a correct gloss. A more precise definition of the course of the journey (Böttger, Beitr. I. p. 30, and de Wette: through the regions of Hierapolis, Philadelphia, and Sardes) is not to be attempted.
μαθητάς] i.e. as no other definition is added, Christians. It is true that they were disciples of John (Acts 19:3), who had been, like Apollos, instructed and baptized by disciples of the Baptist (comp. Acts 18:25), but they had joined the fellowship of the Christians, and were by these regarded as fellow-disciples, seeing that they possessed some knowledge of the person and doctrine of Jesus and a corresponding faith in Him, though of a very imperfect and indefinite character,—as it were, misty and dawning: therefore Paul himself also considered them as Christians (Acts 19:2), and he only learned from his conversation with them that they were merely disciples of John (Acts 19:3). Heinrichs (comp. Wetstein, also Lange, II. p. 264) thinks that they had received their instruction (Acts 18:25-26) and baptism of John from Apollos, and that Paul was also aware of this. But the very ignorance of these disciples can as little be reconciled with the energetic ministry of Apollos as with any already lengthened residence at Ephesus at all, where, under the influence of the Christians, and particularly of Aquila and Priscilla, they must have received more information concerning the πνεῦμα ἅγ. Therefore it is most probable that they were strangers, who had but just come to Ephesus and had attached themselves to the Christians of that place. As disciples of John they are to be regarded as Jews, not as Gentiles, which Acts 19:2 contains nothing to necessitate (in opposition to Baumgarten, II. p. 3).
Observe, also, that the earlier keeping back of the apostle from Asia on the part of the Spirit (Acts 16:6) had now, after his labours thus far in Greece, obtained its object and was no longer operative. Of this Paul was conscious. Cod. D has a special address of the Spirit to this effect,—an interpolation which Bornemann has adopted.
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.Acts 19:2. The want of the distinctively Christian life of the Spirit in these disciples must have surprised the apostle; he misses in their case those peculiar utterances of the Holy Spirit, commencing with Christian baptism, which were elsewhere observable (1 Corinthians 12:13; Titus 3:5). Hence his question.
εἰ] The indirect form of conception lies at the foundation, as in Acts 1:6.
πιστεύσαντες] after ye became believers, i.e. Christians, which Paul considered them to be. See on Acts 19:1.
ἀλλʼ οὐδὲ εἰ πν. ἅγ. ἐ. ἠκούσ.] As the existence of the Holy Spirit at all cannot have been unknown to the men, because they were disciples of John and John’s baptism of water had its essential correlate and intelligible explanation in the very baptism of the Spirit—even apart from the O.T. training of these men, according to which they must at least have been aware that the Holy Spirit was something existing
ἔστιν (to be so accented) must necessarily be taken as adest, as in John 7:39 : No, we have not even heard whether the Holy Spirit is there (already present on the earth). Accordingly, they still remained ignorant whether that which John had announced, namely, that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit, had already taken place, and thus the πνεῦμα ἅγιον had become present. The supplements, δοθέν, ἐκχυνόμενον, and the like, give the sense, just as in John 7:39, but are quite unnecessary. The view which takes it of existence generally has misled Olshausen to import the here inappropriate dogmatic assertion: that God still stood before their minds as a rigid, self-contained, immediate unity, without their knowing anything of the distinctive attributes of the Father, Son, and Spirit, necessarily conditioned by the nature of the Spirit; and, with Baumgarten, has given rise to the supposition that they were Gentiles.
On ἀλλά, in the reply, see Klotz, ad Devar. p. 11 f. The question occurred to them as surprising; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 14.
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.Acts 19:3. Εἰς τί] reference of the baptism (Matthew 3:11; Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 10:2; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27): unto what, then, as the object of faith and confession, to which you were referred, were ye baptized?
οὖν] accordingly, since the matter so stands, since ye have not even heard of the existence of the Holy Spirit. The presupposition in this εἰς τί οὖν is, that they, baptized in the name of Christ, could not but have received the Holy Spirit.
εἰς τὸ Ἰωανν. βάπτ.] in reference to the baptism administered by John, so that thus the baptism performed in our case was to be the baptism of John, in relation to which we were baptized.
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.Acts 19:4. Μέν] See on Acts 1:1. Instead of following it up by an apodosis, such as: “but Jesus is the coming One, on whom John by his baptism bound men to believe,” Paul already inserts this idea by τοῦτ. ἔστιν εἰς τ. Ἰ. into the sentence begun by μέν, and, abandoning the μέν, entirely omits to continue the construction by δέ.
ἐβάπτ. βάπτ. μεταν.] he baptized (administered) a baptism (which obliged) to repentance. See Mark 1:4. On the combination of βαπτίζω with a cognate noun, comp. Luke 7:29; Luke 12:50; Mark 10:38.
εἰς τ. ἐρχ.] is with great emphasis prefixed to the ἴνα. Comp. on Galatians 2:10; Ephesians 3:18.
ἵνα πιστ.] is to be understood purely in the sense of design; saying to the people: (that he administered a baptism of repentance) in order that they should believe on Him who was to come after him, i.e. on Jesus. This terse information concerning the connection of the baptism of John, which they had received, with Jesus, decided these disciples to receive Christian baptism. The determining element lay in τοῦτʼ ἔστιν εἰς τὸν Ἰησοῦν, which Paul must have more precisely explained to them, and by which they were transplanted from their hitherto indistinct and non-living faith into the condition of a full fides explicita—from the morning dawn of faith to the bright daylight of the same.
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.Acts 19:5. Εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τ. Κυρ. Ἰ.] on the name of the Lord Jesus, which they were to confess, namely, as that of the Messiah. Comp. on Matthew 28:19.
These disciples of John thus received (whether from Paul himself, or from a subordinate assistant, the text leaves undetermined; but see for the latter view 1 Corinthians 1:17; comp. Acts 10:48) Christian baptism, for it had appeared that they had not yet received it. The Anabaptists have from the first wrongly appealed to this passage; for it simply represents the non-sufficiency of John’s baptism, in point of fact, for Christianity, and that purely in respect of the twelve persons, but does not exhibit the insufficiency of the Christian baptism of infants. Many, moreover, of the orthodox (comp. Beza, Calixtus, Calovius, Suicer, Glass, Buddeus, Wolf, and several of the older commentators), in a controversial interest,—both against the Roman Catholic doctrine of the distinction between the Johannean and the Christian baptism (Trident. Sess. vii. Song of Solomon 1), and also against the Anabaptists,—have wrongly attached Acts 19:5 to the address of the apostle: “but after they had heard it they were baptized (by John), etc.” But against this it may be urged, that John did not baptize in the name of Jesus, and that δέ, Acts 19:5, stands in no logical connection at all with μέν, Acts 19:4. On the other hand, Calvin and others have maintained, against the Anabaptists, that Acts 19:5 is meant not of the baptism of water, but of the baptism of the Spirit, which Acts 19:6 only more precisely explains; but this shift is just another, quite as utterly unexegetical, error of dogmatic presupposition. We may add, that it may not be inferred from our passage that the disciples of John who passed over to Christianity were uniformly rebaptized; for, in the case of the apostles who passed over from John to Jesus, this certainly did not take place (John 4:2); and even as regards Apollos, the common opinion that he was baptized by Aquila is purely arbitrary, as in Acts 18:26 his instruction in Christianity, and not his baptism, is narrated. Indeed, in the whole of the N.T., except this passage, there is no example of the rebaptism of a disciple of John. Hence the baptism of the disciples of John who passed over to Christianity was not considered as absolutely necessary; but it did or did not take place according as in the different cases, and in proportion to the differences of individuals, the desire of the persons concerned and the opinion of the teachers on the matter determined. With those twelve, for example, Paul regarded it as conducive to his object and requisite that they should be baptized, in order to raise them to the elevation of Christian spiritual life; and therefore they were baptized (evidently according to their own wish and inclination, as is implied in ἀκούσαντες δὲ ἐβαπτ.), whilst Apollos, on the other hand, could dispense with rebaptism, seeing that he with his fervid spirit, following the references of John to Christ and the instruction of his teachers, penetrated without any new baptismal consecration into the pneumatic element of life. If, however, among the three thousand who were baptized at Pentecost (Acts 2:38; Acts 2:41) there were some of John’s disciples,—which is probable,—it was their desire to be baptized, and apostolic wisdom could not leave this unfulfilled. Accordingly, the opinion of Ziegler (theol. Abh. II. p. 162), that those twelve were rebaptized, because they had been baptized by some disciple of John not unto the ἐρχόμενος, but unto John himself, and thus had not received the true Johannean baptism, is to be rejected. They did not, in fact, answer, in Acts 19:3, εἰς τὸν ʼΙωάννην!
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.Acts 19:6-7. After the baptism the imposition of the hands of the apostle (see on Acts 8:15, remark) became the vehicle of the reception of the πνεῦμα ἅγιον on the part of the minds opened by the apostolic word. The Spirit descended upon them, and manifested Himself partly by their speaking with tongues (see on Acts 10:46), and partly in prophetic inspiration (see on Acts 11:27). These two must, according to the technical mode of reference to them in the apostolic church attested by 1 Corinthians 12-14, be distinguished, and not treated as equivalent, with van Hengel, who (comp. on chap. Acts 2:10) finds here merely in general an expression of the inspired praising aloud of God in Christ. See his Gave d. talen, p. 84 ff.; Trip, p. 185, follows him. The analogy of the phenomenon with what occurred in the history of Cornelius (Acts 10:44 ff.) serves Baur, I. p. 212 f., ed. 2 (with whom Zeller agrees; and see earlier, Schneckenburger, p. 56 ff.), for a handle to condemn the whole narrative as unhistorical, and to refer it to the set purpose of placing the Apostle Paul, by a new and telling proof of his apostolic dignity and efficiency, on a parallel with the Apostle Peter. The author had, in Baur’s view, seeing that the first γλώσσαις λαλεῖν (chap. 2) is exhibited in the person of Jews, and the second (chap. 10) in that of Gentiles, now chosen for the third a middle class, half-believers (like the Samaritans! see Schwegler). With all this presumed refinement of invention, it is yet singular that the author should not have carried out his parallelism of Paul with Peter even so far as to make the descent of the Holy Spirit and the speaking with tongues take place, as with Cornelius, before baptism, on the mere preaching of the apostle! People themselves weave such fictions, and give forth the author of the book, which is thus criticised, as the ingenious weaver.
Acts 19:7. A simple historical statement, not in order to represent the men “as a new Israel.”
 So Baumgarten, II. p. 7, whom the very ὡσεί ought to have preserved from this fancy.
And all the men were about twelve.
And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.Acts 19:8. Πείθων] is not equivalent to διδάσκων, but contains the result of διαλεγ. He convinced (men’s minds) concerning the kingdom of the Messiah. Comp. on πείθειν with the mere accusative of the object (Plat. Pol. p. 304 A; Soph. O. C. 1444), Valckenaer, ad Eur. Hipp. 1062.
But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.Acts 19:9. But when some were hardened and refused belief, he severed himself from them (from the synagogue) and separated the Christians, (henceforth) discoursing daily in the school of a certain Tyrannus. Tyrannus (the same name in Apollod. ii. 4. 5; Boeckh, Corp. Inscr. 1732; 2Ma 4:40; Joseph. Antt. xvi. 10. 3, Bell. i. 26. 3; and among the Rabbis טורנום, see Drusius in loc.) is usually considered (as by Lange and Baumgarten, comp. Ewald, p. 516) as a Gentile rhetorician, who had as a public sophist possessed a lecture-room, and is perhaps identical with the one described by Suidas: Τύραννος· σοφιστὴς περὶ στάσεων κ. διαιρέσεως λόγου βιβλία δέκα. But as the text does not indicate a transition of the apostle wholly to the Gentiles (see, on the other hand, Acts 18:6-7, Acts 13:46), but merely a separation from the synagogue, and as in the new place of instruction (σχολή, a teaching-room, often in Plutarch, etc.), Ἰουδαῖοι (and these are named first, Acts 19:10) continued to hear him; as, in fine, Tyrannus, had he been a Gentile, would have to be conceived of as σεβόμενος τὸν θεόν, like Justus, Acts 18:7,—an essential point, which Luke (comp. Acts 18:7) would hardly have left unnoticed: the opinion of Hammond is to be preferred, that Tyrannus is to be considered as a Jewish teacher who had a private synagogue, בית מדדש (“in Beth Midrasch docuerunt traditiones atque earum expositiones,” Babyl. Berac. f. 17. 1; see Lightf. ad Matth. p. 253 f.; Vitringa, Synag. p. 137). Paul with his Christians withdrew from the public synagogue to the private synagogue of Tyrannus, where he and his doctrine were more secure from public annoyance. The objection, that it would have been inconsistency to pass from the synagogue to a Rabbinical school (Baumgarten), is of no weight, as there were also Rabbins like Gamaliel, and Tyrannus must be considered, at all events, as at least inclined to Christianity.
τ. ὁδόν] see on Acts 9:2, Acts 18:25.
And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.Acts 19:10. ʼΕπὶ ἔτη δύο] for two years (as Acts 19:8; Acts 18:20, and frequently). The three months, Acts 19:8, are to be reckoned in addition to this for the whole residence at Ephesus. This statement of the time is not at variance with Acts 20:31, if only we take the διετία in our passage, and the τριετία in Acts 20:31, not as documentarily strict, but as approximate statements. Comp. Anger, de temp. rat. p. 59. There is not, therefore, sufficient reason to suppose, nor is there any hint in the narrative, that we are to reckon the ἔτη δύο as not extending further than Acts 19:20 (Schrader, Wieseler, and others).
ὥστε πάντας κ.τ.λ.] a hyperbolical expression. In Ephesus, flourishing by commerce and art, with its famous temple of Diana and festivals (ʼΕφεσία, Locella, ad Xen. Eph. p. 132), strangers were continually coming and going from all parts of Asia Minor, Jews and Gentiles, the latter particularly for the sake of worship. The sensation which Paul made excited very many to hear him; a great sphere of labour was opened up to him, 1 Corinthians 16:9.
Ἕλληνας] comprehends here both proselytes of the gate and complete Gentiles. Comp. on Acts 11:20. The private school, which Tyrannus had granted to Paul, was made accessible by the latter also to the Gentiles, which could not have been the case with a public synagogue.
And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:Acts 19:11-12. Οὐ τὰς τυχούσ.] not the usual, i.e. distinguished, not to be compared with those of the Jewish exorcists (Acts 19:13). Comp. Acts 28:2. The opposite: μικραὶ καὶ αἱ τυχοῦσαι πράξεις, Polyb. i. 25. 6. On τυχών, in the sense of vulgaris, see generally, Vigerus, ed. Hermann, p. 364; and on the very frequent connection by way of litotes with οὐ, see Wetstein in loc.; Valckenaer, p. 559 f.; from Philo, Loesner, p. 219. Comp. 2Ma 3:7.
ὥστε καὶ κ.τ.λ.] so that also (among other things) towels and aprons were brought to the sick from his skin, and (thereby) the ailments were removed from them, etc.
σιμικίνθιον, not preserved elsewhere, the Latin semicinctium, is explained either as a handkerchief (Oecumenius: ἐν ταῖς χερσὶ κατέχουσι … πρὸς τὸ ἀπομάττεσθαι τὰς ὑγρότητας τοῦ προσώπου, οἷον ἱδρῶτας, πτύελον, δάκρυον κ. τὰ ὅμοια, comp. Theophylact and Suicer, Thes. II. p. 959), or usually as an apron, in favour of which is the etymology, and Martial, Epigr. xiv. 151. Very probably it was a linen apron (ἀμφότερα λινοειδῆ εἰσι, Schol. ap. Matth.), which workmen or waiters (Pignor. de serv. p. lxxv.) wore after laying aside their upper garment, and which, when they had it on, they likewise used for the purpose remarked by Oecumenius.
ἀπὸ τοῦ χρωτὸς αὐτοῦ] so that they had just been used by him and been in contact with his skin. Luke, who also here (comp. Luke 4:40 f. al.) distinguishes the ordinary sick from the possessed, represents the healing of the former and the deliverance of the latter as an effect, which was brought about by the cloths laid on them; for ὥστε down to ἐκπορ. forms together the description of a peculiar kind of those unusual miraculous δυνάμεις. Purely historical criticism, independent of arbitrary premisses laid down à priori, has nothing to assail in this view, as the healing power of the apostle, analogous to the miraculous power of Jesus, might through his will be transmitted by means of cloths requested from him to the suffering person, and received by means of the faith of the latter. The truth of the occurrence stands on the same footing with the N.T. miraculous cures in general, which took place through the will of the worker of miracles, partly with and partly without sensible transmission. By relegating the matter from the historical domain of miracles, which is yet undoubtedly to be recognised in the working of Paul (Romans 15:19; 2 Corinthians 12:12), to the sphere of legends as to relics (Baur, Zeller), with comparison of Acts 5:15, or to that “of the servants’ rooms and houses behind” (Hausrath), the narrative of our passage is easily dismissed, but not got rid of, although a more special embellishment of it by the importunity of those seeking help, and by the pouring out of the sweat of the apostle as he worked (Baumgarten), of which the text indicates nothing, is to be set aside.
So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.Acts 19:13. But some, also, of the itinerant Jewish demonexorcisers (sorcerers, who, for the healing of demoniacs, used secret arts derived from Solomon, and charms, see Joseph. Antt. viii. 2. 5, Bell. Jud. i. 1. 2; Matthew 12:27) undertook (ἐπεχείρ., see on Luke 1:1), in expectation of greater results than their own hitherto had been, and provoked by the effects which Paul produced by the utterance of the name of Jesus, to use this formula with the demoniacs: I conjure you (to come out, ye evil spirits, Acts 19:15) by Jesus (who, besides, will punish you), whom Paul announces.
ἐπὶ τοὺς ἔχ.] denotes the local direction: towards the possessed, not, as Kuinoel proposes, on account of the possessed (perhaps with a design towards, of the direction of the will), in which case the vivid form of the representation is entirely overlooked.
τὰ πνεύμ. τὰ πον.] are the demons concerned, then and there to be expelled.
τὸν ʼΙησοῦν] Comp. Mark 5:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:27. Equivalent to τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ Ἰ., 3 Esdr. 1:48.
And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.Acts 19:14. ʼΑρχιερ.] Whether he was a former head of one of the twenty-four priestly classes, or a past de facto high priest, remains undecided, as this Skeuas—according to A: Skeujas, according to Ewald, perhaps שְׁכַבְיָה—is otherwise entirely unknown.
τινες … ἑπτά] is by many (including Kuinoel and Olshausen) taken as some seven, i.e. about seven; but then Luke would have placed the pronoun close to the numeral, either before or after it (Acts 23:23; Thuc. vii. 34. 4, ἑπτά τινες, and see Kühner, § 633. 5; Krüger, § li. 16. 4); and the merely approximate expression would not be in keeping with the significance of the number seven. The correct mode of taking it is: but there were certain sons of Skeuas, a Jewish high priest, (and indeed) seven, who did this. The number, not thought of at the very beginning (instead of τινές), is introduced afterwards. Baur, I. p. 215, ed. 2, converts the sons into disciples, without any ground whatever in the text.
And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?Acts 19:15. But how entirely did that ἐπεχείρησαν fail of success in the very first instance of its application! Bengel well remarks on Acts 19:13 : “Si semel successisset, saepius ausuri fuerant.”
τὸ πνεῦμα] the demon, who had taken possession of the individual consciousness in the man.
By τὸν ʼΙησοῦν … ἐπίσταμαι he recognises the power of Jesus and of the apostle over him; by ὑμεῖς δὲ τίνες (what sort of men!) ἐστέ he shows his contempt for the presumption of his powerless (not empowered by Jesus and Paul) opponents. ὑμεῖς is with depreciating emphasis placed first.
And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.Acts 19:16. Ἐφαλόμενος (see the critical remarks) ἐπʼ αὐτοὺς κ.τ.λ.] having leaped upon them, after overpowering both he so prevailed against them, that, etc. The mode of representation is not exact, as we only see from ἀμφοτέρων that here of those seven but two were active, whom Luke has already conceived to himself in αὐτούς. According to Ewald, ἀμφοτ. is neuter: on both sides, i.e. from above and from below. This would be ἀπʼ ἀμφοτέρων, παρʼ ἀμφοτ., ἀμφοτέρῃ, ἀμφοτέρωθων.
γυμνούς] whether entirely naked, or merely divested of their upper clothing (see on John 21:7), remains an undecided point.
And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.Acts 19:17-18. The first impression of this signal miscarriage of that application of the name of Jesus was in the case of the Ephesian multitude naturally fear, dread (see on Acts 2:43) on account of its extraordinary nature (on ἐπέπεσε φόβος, comp. Luke 1:12); and then followed universal praise of that name (comp. Luke 7:16). And many who (through this event now) were believers (τῶν πεπιστ.) came (to Paul) and confessed and made known (an exhaustive description) their deeds. This open confession (ἐξομολ., see on Matthew 3:6) of their previous practices, which had been entirely alien and opposed to the faith in Christ, was the commencement of their new life of faith. In πολλοί and τὰς πράξ. αὐτ. the converted sorcerers and their evil tricks are meant to be included, but not they only (in opposition to Heinrichs and Olshausen); for it is not till Acts 19:19 that these exclusively are treated of. As to πράξεις in a bad sense, comp. on Romans 8:13.
 This rendering of τῶν πεπιστ. is justified by ἐμεγαλύνετο κ.τ.λ., ver. 17. Others, as Baumgarten, understand those who had already previously been believers, but who had not yet arrived at such a confession. This, however, is not reconcilable with μετάνοια as the necessary moral condition of faith and baptism, which condition must have at an earlier period been fulfilled by those who had already at an earlier time become believers. Luther (see his gloss) has misunderstood the verse.
And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.Acts 19:19. On περίεργος, often joined in Greek writers with ἄτοπος, μάταιος, ἀνόητος, and the like, male sedulus, curiosus, and on τὰ περίεργα, what is useless, especially employed of the practices of sorcerers, see Kypke, II. p. 95, and Wetstein. Comp. περιεργάζεσθαι, Plat. Apol. S. p. 19 B.
The article here denotes that which is known from the context.
τὰς βίβλους] in which the magical arts were described, and the formulae were contained. Such formulae of exorcism, carried on slips as amulets, proceeded in large quantities from the sorcerers at Ephesus; hence the expression Ἐφεσία γράμματα. See Wetstein and Grotius in loc.; Valckenaer, Schol. p. 564; Hermann, gottesd. Alterth. § xlii. 17.
συνεψήφισαν] The sorcerers themselves reckoned up the prices, which, indeed, others could not do. From this is partly explained the greatness of the sum.
εὗρ. ἀργ. μυρ. πέντε] they found (got out as the sum, see Raphel in loc.) in silver money fifty thousand, namely, drachmae. As the word is not ἀργυρίων, but ἀργυρίου (comp. Dem. 949. 1 : τρισχιλίας ἐγκάλεσας ἀργυρίου δραχμάς); as Luke did not write for a Hebrew, and as the scene of the transaction was a Greek city, the opinion of Grotius, Hammond, and Drusius, that shekels are meant, is to be rejected. The statement of a sum, without naming the sort of money of the drachmae, was usual with the Greeks. See Bos, Ellips., ed. Schaefer, p. 119 f.; Bernhardy, p. 187. An Attic drachma (= 6 oboli) is about 24 kreuzers, accordingly the sum is about 20,000 Rhenish gulden[about £1875].
Baur, according to his presupposition, cannot but reject the whole history of the demoniac, etc., as unhistorical; he holds even the judgment in Acts 19:20 as itself unworthy of the associates of an apostle; and the following history, Acts 19:21-40, appears to him only to have arisen through an à priori abstraction, the author wishing to give as splendid a picture as possible of the labours of Paul at Ephesus. Zeller declares himself more neutrally, yet as suspecting the narrative (p. 265), as does also Hausrath, p. 86 f.
 The silver drachma stands, as is well known, to the gold drachma in the proportion of 10 to 1.
So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.Acts 19:20. So (so much) with power (par force) grew (in external diffusion, Acts 6:7, Acts 12:24) and displayed itself powerful (in the production of great effects) the doctrine of the Lord.
κατὰ κράτος] See Valckenaer, p. 565; Bernhardy, p. 241; Bornemann, ad Xen. Cyr. i. 4. 23. The reference of κράτος to the power of Christ (Ephesians 1:19) has occasioned the order τοῦ Κυρίου ὁ λόγος (Lachmann and Tischendorf, following A B א*).
After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome.Acts 19:21-22. Ταῦτα] these things hitherto reported from Ephesus (Acts 19:1-19). Schrader (der Apostel Paulus, II. p. 85 f.) would strangely refer it to the entire past labours of Paul, even including what is not related by Luke. An arbitrary device in favour of his hypothesis, that after Acts 19:20 a great journey to Macedonia, Corinth, Crete, etc., occurred. See, on the contrary, Anger, de temp. rat. p. 64 ff.
ἔθετο ἐν τῷ πνεῦμ.] he determined in his spirit, he resolved. Comp. on Acts 5:4.
τὴν Μακεδ. κ. Ἀχ.] see on Acts 18:12.
πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσ.] The special object of the journey is known from 1 Corinthians 16:1 ff.; 2 Corinthians 8; Romans 15:25 ff. The non-mention of this matter of the collection is so much the less to be set down to the account of a conciliatory design of the book (Schneckenburger, p. 67; Zeller, p. 267),—as if it made the apostle turn his eyes towards Jerusalem on account of the celebration of the festival (Acts 20:16, Acts 24:11; Acts 24:17),—since the very aim of the collection would have well suited that alleged tendency.
δεῖ] in the consciousness of the divine determination, which is confirmed by Acts 23:11. From this consciousness is explained his earnest assurance, Romans 1:10 ff. And towards Rome now goes the whole further development of his endeavours and of his destiny. He was actually to see Rome, but only after the lapse of years and as a prisoner.
Ἔραστον] 2 Timothy 4:20. Otherwise unknown and different from the person mentioned in Romans 16:23.
ἐπέσχε χρόνον] he kept himself (remained) behind for a time. See examples in Wetstein, and from Philo in Loesner, p. 219.
εἰς τ. Ἀσίαν] does not stand for ἐν τῇ Ἀσ. (in opposition to Grotius, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, and many others), but it denotes the direction in which this keeping back took place, toward Asia, where he was. Comp. the well-known ἐς δόμους μένειν, Soph. Aj. 80. Considering the frequency of this construction (comp. Acts 18:21) generally, and in the N.T. (Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 287 [E. T. 333]), it is not to be rendered, with Winer: for Asia, in order to labour there.
 Comp. 2 Corinthians 9:12 ff.; see Lekebusch, p. 280. How undesignedly the work of the collection remained here unmentioned, is evident from Acts 24:17.
 Compare Klostermann, Vindiciae Luc. p. 35 ff.
So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season.
And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.
For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;Acts 19:24. The silver-beater (ἀργυροκόπος) Demetrius had a manufactory, in which little silver temples (ἀφιδρύματα) representing the splendid (Callimach. Hymn. in Dian. 249) temple of Diana with the statue of the goddess, ὡς κιβώρια μικρά (Chrysostom), were made. These miniature temples must have found great sale, partly among Ephesians, partly among strangers, as it was a general custom to carry such miniature shrines as amulets with them in journeys, and to place them in their houses (Dio Cass. xxxix. 20; Diod. Sic. i. 15; Amm. Marc. xxii. 13; Dougt. Anal. II. p. 91); and particularly as the Ἄρτεμις Ἐφεσία was such a universally venerated object of worship (Creuzer, Symbol. II. p. 176 ff.; Preller, Mythol. I. p. 196 ff.; Hermann, gottesd. Alterth. § lxvi. 4, lxviii. 39). We are not to think of coins with the impression of the temple (in opposition to Beza, Scaliger, Piscator, Valckenaer), as the naming of coins after the figure impressed on them (boves, puellae, pulli, testudines; see Beza in loc.) is only known in reference to living creatures; nor can the existence of such coins with the impress of the Ephesian temple be historically proved.
 See concerning this temple, burned by Herostratus on the night in which Alexander the Great was born, and afterwards built with greater magnificence, Hirt, d. Temp. d. Diana z. Ephes., Berlin 1809.
Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.Acts 19:25-26. Demetrius assembled not only the artisans (οὕς) who worked for him, but also the other workmen who were occupied in similar industrial occupations (τὰ τοιαῦτα). Bengel correctly remarks: “Alii erant τεχνῖται, artifices nobiliores, alii ἐργάται operarii.”
οὐ μόνον … ἀλλά] without καί, like the Latin non modo … sed, contains a climax; see Maetzn. ad Antiph. p. 129; Bremi, ad Isocr. Exc. IX.; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 317 [E. T. 369].
μετέστ.] namely, from the worship of the gods.
ὅτι οὐκ εἰσὶ θεοί] The people identified the statues of the gods with the gods themselves, or at least believed that the numen of the divinity filled them. See Elsner, Obss. p. 453 ff.; Wolf, Cur.; Hermann, gottesd. Alterth. § xviii. 19.
Observe the order of the words, accordant with their emphasis, marked also by dislocation in Acts 19:26, and the scornful and bitter ὁ Παῦλος οὗτος: that Paul there!
θεοί is predicate. How Paul looked on the heathen gods, may be seen at 1 Corinthians 8:4; 1 Corinthians 10:20. The gods = images, were to him of course only the work of men, without any reality of that which they were intended to represent. Comp. Acts 17:29.
Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.Acts 19:27. And not only this matter (μέρος, see on Colossians 2:16), this point, namely, our lucrative trade, is in danger for us of coming into contempt, but also the temple of the great goddess Artemis (is in danger) of being regarded as nothing, and there will also (he added) be brought down the majesty of her, whom, etc.
ἡμῖν] dative of reference, i.e. here incommodi.
εἰς ἀπελ. ἐλθ.] i.e. to come into discredit; ἀπελεγμός is not preserved elsewhere; but comp. ἐλεγμός, frequent in the LXX. and Apocr.
τῆς μεγάλης] a habitually employed epithet, as of other gods, so particularly of the Ephesian Artemis. Xen. Eph. i. 11; Alberti, Obss. p. 259.
With μέλλειν the oratio recta passes into the oratio obliqua; see Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 330 [E. T. 385].
τέ is and, simply annexing; καί is also, climactic: “destructum que etiam iri majestatem,” etc. Comp. Acts 21:28; Buttmann, p. 309 [E. T. 360].
τῆς μεγαλειότητος (see the critical remarks) is to be taken partitively (as if τί stood with it); there will be brought down something of her majesty. Comp. Xen. Hellen. iv. 4. 13 : τῶν τειχῶν καθελεῖν, also ii. 2. 11. Nothing of this magnificence will they sacrifice. On καθαιρεῖν of the lowering of the honour of one, comp. Herodian. iii. 3. 4, vii. 9. 24. ἣν … σέβεται] again the direct form of address. See on such mixing of direct and indirect elements, Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 3. 14; Dissen, ad Dem. de cor. p. 203. The relative applies to αὐτῆς.
 “Efficax sermo, quem utilitas et superstitio acuit,” Bengel. Comp. Acts 16:19.
 Still μέλλειν may also be governed by κινδυν. ἡμῖν. But in that case μέλλειν would itself simply appear very unnecessary, and the passage would more fittingly after the preceding be continued: καθαιρεῖσθαί τε καὶ κ.τ.λ.
And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.Acts 19:28-29. Μεγάλη ἡ Ἄρτ. Ἐφ.] An enthusiastic outcry for the preservation of the endangered (and yet so lucrative!) majesty of the goddess.
ὥρμησαν namely, those who ran together along with Demetrius and his companions.
ὁμοθυμαδόν] here also: with one mind (in opposition to Deyling, Krebs, Loesner, and others, who think that, on account of Acts 19:32, it must be rendered simul); for they were at one on the point, that in the theatre something in general must be determined on against Paul and his companions for the defence of the honour of the goddess (Acts 19:34), although specially the most might not know τίνος ἕνεκεν συνεληλύθεισαν (Acts 19:32).
It is well known that the theatre was used for the despatch of public transactions and for popular assemblies (even for such as were tumultuary). See Wetstein in loc.; Hermann, Staatsalterth. § 128. 9. Consequently the more easy it is to understand, why the vehement crowd poured itself into the great theatre.
συναρπάσ.] First, they drew along with them the two fellow-travellers (συνεκδ.) of the apostle, and then rushed into the theatre. But it may also be conceived as simultaneous; while they carried along with them, they rushed, etc. Whether they fetched these two men from their lodgings, or encountered them in the streets, cannot be determined.
Caius is otherwise unknown, and is not identical with the Caius mentioned in Acts 20:4 (see in loc.), or with the one mentioned in Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 1:15.
Ἀρίσταρχ.] See Acts 20:4, Acts 27:2; Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:24.
 It was one of the largest, as its ruins show. See Ottfr. Müller, Archäol. d. Kunst, p. 391.
And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.Acts 19:30-31. Παύλου] whom doubtless the rioters had not found present at his usual place of abode. “Nulla militaris audacia par huic fortitudini,” Bengel.
εἰς τ. δῆμον] among the people that ran together into the theatre (Acts 19:31). Comp. Acts 12:22, Acts 17:5. εἰς τ. δῆμον is also among Greek writers very often the multitude (Dem. 383. 5; Diod. Sic. xvi. 84), plebs, vulgus. See Sturz, Lex. Xen. I. p. 665; Nägelsbach on the Iliad, p. 277, ed. 3. Contrary to the whole course of proceeding as narrated, Otto (Pastoralbr. p. 103) understands a formal assembly of the people, of which we are not to think even in the case of ἐκκλησία, Acts 19:32.
The ten presidents of sacred rites as well as of the public games in proconsular Asia were called Ἀσιαρχαί (corresponding to whom in other provinces were the Γαλαταρχαί, Βιθυνιαρχαί, Συριαρχαί κ.τ.λ.). They had to celebrate, at their own expense, these games in honour of the gods and of the emperor. Each city annually, about the time of the autumnal equinox, delegated one of its citizens, and these collective delegates then elected the ten. It was natural that one of these—perhaps chosen by the proconsul—should preside, and hence may be explained the remark in Eusebius, H. E. iv. 15, that Polycarp was executed under the Asiarch Philip. But the inference from our passage is historically indemonstrable, that only one was really Asiarch, and that the plural is to be explained from the fact that the other nine, but particularly the retired Asiarchs (like the past high priests of the Jews), bore the title (Salmasius, Valesius, Tillemont, Harduin, and Deyling), which is in itself improbable on account of the enormous expense which in that case would have been laid on one. See generally, Spanheim, de usu et praest. num. II. p. 694; van Dale, Dissertt. ad antiq. et marmor. p. 273 ff.; Winer, Realw. I. p. 97 f.; Babington in Numism. Chronicle, 1866, p. 93 ff. Comp. also Jacobs, ad Anthol. XII. p. 313.
μὴ δοῦναι ἑαυτόν] apprehension of danger to life. On the expression with εἰς of a dangerous locality, comp. Polyb. v. 14. 9.
And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.
Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.Acts 19:32-33. Οὖν] joins on, by way of inference, the description of the concourse (Acts 19:29), interrupted by Acts 19:30-31.
ἄλλο … ἄλλο] Comp. Charit. i. 5 : ὁ δῆμος ἅπας εἰς τὴν ἀγορὰν συνέτρεχεν ἄλλων ἄλλα κεκραγότων, Plat. Charm. p. 153 D: ἠρώτων δὲ ἄλλος ἄλλο. The following τί might have been left out (Kühner, § 836, note 5), but it is only wanting in D (Bornemann).
ἡ ἐκκλησία] It was no ἔννομος ἐκκλ., Acts 19:39, and accordingly no legal popular assembly, neither an ordinary one (νόμιμος), nor an extraordinary (σύγκλητος), but simply an assemblage of the people, who had flocked together of their own accord,—a concio plebis exlex et abusiva.
συγκεχυμ.] confused, in an uproar. Comp. Acts 19:29. It lacked all order, guidance, self-restraint, discipline, etc.
προεβ. Ἀλεξ. προβαλλ. αὐτ. τ. Ἰουδ.] a vivid description of its tumultuary character. The Jews shoved (pushed) him forward from behind (προβαλλ.), and others, standing in front, brought or drew him out of the crowd (ἐκ τ. ὄχλου προεβ.). Grotius, Wetstein, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, and others take προβάλλειν as to propose (see Xen. Anab. vi. 1. 25, vi. 2. 6; Dem. 519. 16; Kypke, II. p. 101 f.), but this does not at all suffice for the lively picture of the tumult. Alexander, otherwise entirely unknown, was certainly a Christian, since only to such a one is the subsequent ἀπολογεῖσθαι suitable, not a Jew (Beza, Grotius, Ewald, and others). He is commonly, but arbitrarily, especially considering the frequency of the name, considered as identical with the Alexander mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:20, 2 Timothy 4:14, in which case it is in its turn presupposed that the name occurring at those two passages denotes one person. Such completely indemonstrable assumptions cannot serve to prove the genuineness and time of the composition of the Epistles to Timothy (in opposition to Otto). The Alexander in our passage had, in the Christian interest, mixed among the crowd, and was pushed forward by the malicious Jews that he might make a public address and, if possible, become a sacrifice to the fury of the multitude. If we hold him to be a non-Christian Jew (which does not result from Acts 19:34), it is to be supposed that the Jews would be afraid that, on this occasion, they also might be attacked, and therefore pushed forward Alexander, an eloquent man and hostile to Paul, that he might maintain the innocence of the Jews to the destruction of the Christians. But Luke must have called attention to such a connection, and that the more as the simple ἀπολογεῖσθαι, to make a defence, points quite naturally to the accusation of the Christians referred to.
κατασ. τ. χ.] moving his hand up and down (for a sign that he wished to speak).
τῷ δημῷ] before the people, Herod. vii. 161; Plat. Prot. p. 359 A; Lucian. Gall. 3. See Bernhardy, p. 79.
δῆμος is as in Acts 19:30, and the ἀπολογεῖσθαι, cannot therefore be meant to be a defence of the Jews (Bengel, Ewald) and of the ὄχλος (Otto).
 Otto, p. 108, makes up the scene more artificially, and that so as to make Alexander even the soul and secret spring of the whole uproar. According to Hausrath, the author gives designedly only a fragmentary account of the Jewish-Christian Alexander, because the conduct of the Jewish-Christians at that time did not suit the conciliatory object of his book.
 Comp. Acts 12:17, Acts 13:16, Acts 21:40, where, however, the verb is joined with the dative, which, therefore, also D, al. (Bornemann) have here.
And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made his defence unto the people.
But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.Acts 19:34-35. Ὅτι Ἰουδαῖός ἐστι] Alexander was a Jewish Christian; but his Christian position was either unknown to the mob, or they would listen to nothing at all from one belonging to the Jewish nation as the hereditary enemy of the worship of the gods.
ἐπιγνόντες] Nominative participle, having reference to the logical subject. See Winer, p. 528 [E. T. 710]; Buttmann, neut Gr. p. 256 [E. T. 298].
καταστείλας] after he had quieted. Plut. Mor. p. 207 E; Joseph. Antt. xiv. 9. 1, i. 1. 2.
The γραμματεύς, who had come up in the meantime, perhaps being sent for, is the city-secretary (Thuc. vii. 19, ὁ γραμματεὺς ὁ τῆς πόλεως), to whose office belonged the superintendence of the archives, the drawing up of official decrees, and the reading of them in the assemblies of the people. See van Dale, l.c., p. 423 f.; Hermann, Staatsalterth. § 127. 20, 147. 6.
τίς γὰρ κ.τ.λ.] who is there then, etc. With γάρ the speaker glances back on his efforts to calm them as completely justified, since there is certainly no one who does not know, etc. The question introduced with γάρ therefore states the motive of the καταστείλας. Comp. Nägelsbach on the Iliad, p. 59, ed. 3. Thus vividly does the question fit into the position of affairs.
τὴν Ἐφεσίων πόλιν] with patriotic emphasis.
On νεωκόρος (properly, temple-sweeper, temple-keeper, Xen. Anab. v. 3. 6; Plat. Legg. 6, p. 759 A–C) as an honourable epithet of cities, particularly in Asia, in which the temple-service of a divinity or of a deified ruler has its principal seat, see van Dale, l.c., p. 300 ff.; Valckenaer, p. 570 f.; Krause, de civit. neocoris, Hal. 1844; Hermann, gottesd. Alterth. § 12. 7.
τὸ διοπετές] that which fell from Zeus. That this was the ἄγαλμα fallen from heaven (Eur. Iph. T. 977; Herodian, i. 11. 2) was obvious of itself. The image of Artemis in the temple of Ephesus (according to Vitruvius, ii. 9, of cedar; according to Plin. xvi. 40, of the wood of the vine; according to Xen. Anab. v. 3. 12, of gold, or at least gilt; and according to others, of ebony) was given out as such. See Spanheim, ad Callim. in Dian. 238; Wetstein in loc. On the figure of the image, see Creuzer, Symbol. II. p. 176 ff. It represented the goddess with many breasts (multimammiam, Jerome). According to our passage it must have been rescued at the burning of Herostratus, at least according to general opinion.
 With enigmatical words on forehead, girdle, and feet; see upon it Ewald, Jahrb. II. p. 175 f.
And when the townclerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter?
Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rashly.
For ye have brought hither these men, which are neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess.Acts 19:37. Γάρ] justifies the expression used, προπετές, rashly, without consideration.
Wherefore if Demetrius, and the craftsmen which are with him, have a matter against any man, the law is open, and there are deputies: let them implead one another.Acts 19:38. Οὖν] accordingly, since these men are neither robbers of temples, etc. On ἔχειν πρός τινα λόγον (an utterance, i.e. complaint), see examples in Kypke, II. p. 103.
ἀγοραῖοι] by Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Bornemann, following Suidas, accented ἀγόραιοι (but see on Acts 17:5), are judicial assemblies (in construing it, σύνοδοι is to be conceived as supplied). Comp. Strabo, xiii. p. 629; Vulg.: conventus forenses.
καὶ ἀνθύπατοι εἰσίν] and there are proconsuls. The plural is here also (comp. Acts 17:18) the plural indefinite of the category. Arbitrarily Calvin and Grotius hold that the proconsul and his legate are meant. Bengel correctly says: “de eo quod nunquam non esse soleat.”
But if ye inquire any thing concerning other matters, it shall be determined in a lawful assembly.Acts 19:39-40. But if you desire anything further thereupon (beyond matters of private law), it will be discussed (cleared up) in the lawful assembly of the people (“qui a magistratu civitatis convocatur et regitur,” Grotius; in contrast to this illegal concourse, comp. on Acts 19:32; Acts 19:30). On περαιτέρω (see the critical remarks), comp. Plat. Phaed. p. 107 B: οὐδὲν ζητήσετε περαιτέρω.
καὶ γὰρ κινδυν.] for we even run the risk of being charged with tumult (στάσεως: genitive of accusation) on account of this day. γάρ gives the reason why the speaker in the latter case (Acts 19:39) has relegated the matter to the ἔννομος ἐκκλησ. τῆς σήμερον is not to be connected with στάσεως (Vulgate, Luther, Calvin, and others).
μηδενὸς αἰτίου … ταύτης] there being no reason, on the ground of which we shall be in a position to give account of this concourse. μηδ. αἰτίου, taken as masculine (Vulgate), would less accord with the prudence of the speaker, who with wise forbearance clothes the threatening in a form embracing others, including his own responsibility.
Very wisely, on the whole, has the politically adroit man of business, in the first instance, by way of capitatio benevolentiae praised the Ephesian worship of Diana in its unendangered world-wide fame (Acts 19:35); then from this inferred the unseemliness of such a hasty proceeding (Acts 19:36-37); further, pointed Demetrius and his companions to the legal form of procedure in their case (Acts 19:38-39); and finally, put on the people the lasting curb of the fear of Roman punishment (Acts 19:40).
καὶ ταῦτα εἰπὼν κ.τ.λ.] οὕτως ἔσβεσε τὸν θυμόν· ὥσπερ γὰρ ῥαδίως ἐξάπτεται, οὕτω καὶ ῥαδίως σβέννυται, Chrysostom.
How lightly Baur deprives this whole history of its historical character, may be seen in his Paulus, I. p. 217, ed. 2.
 So also Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 154 [E. T. 177]. Certainly the στάσεως στάσεως is in keeping with ἐγκαλεῖσθαι περί τινος, Acts 23:29, Acts 26:7. But it may he urged, on the other hand, that such a position of the preposition after the noun (Krüger, § lxviii. 4. 2; Kühner, § 626) is not usual in the N.T., and also that the γραμματεύς in his speech was too diplomatically prudent to designate, on his part, the affair exactly as a tumult (στάσις). In his mouth it is only a concourse (συστροφή).—We may add, that in Greek writers προσκαλεῖσθαι, with the simple genitive, is the usual expression.
For we are in danger to be called in question for this day's uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account of this concourse.
And when he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.